United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted India’s invite to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on January 26, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The country’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed the development after delegation-level talks with Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
“I am absolutely delighted to be visiting India next year at the start of an exciting year for Global Britain, and look forward to delivering the quantum leap in our bilateral relationship that Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi and I have pledged to achieve,” Johnson said in a statement, following the announcement. Jaishankar said that Johnson’s presence as the chief guest on Republic Day will mark a new era in the relationship between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Raab also said that Johnson has invited Modi for the G7 summit, to be hosted by the UK, next year.
Speaking at a press briefing after the talks, Jaishankar said that the two countries discussed on five broad themes – connecting people, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate change and health. “The Foreign Secretary comes at a very important time because we are looking at a post-Covid world and also looking at a post-Brexit world from the perspective of the UK,” he said.
Raab said that UK was looking to tackle the shared matters of the two countries, related to terrorism and maritime security including piracy in western Indian Ocean. “We want to deepen our economic partnership with India...We are committed to building a stronger defence and security partnership with India,” he said.